Jerusalem Virus

What Does Jerusalem Virus Mean?

The Jerusalem virus is one of the oldest computer viruses, dating back to 1987. It infected files in the MS-DOS operating systems that were standard at the time. After DOS operating systems were succeeded by newer types of operating systems, the Jerusalem virus became largely obsolete. The Jerusalem virus is thought to have originated in Israel.


Techopedia Explains Jerusalem Virus

The Jerusalem virus had several effects on a computer’s operating system, loaded programs and files. The virus was known to erase various programs on set days, most commonly on Friday the 13th of any month. The virus also infected executable programs repeatedly until they became too large to run on a computer.

Other variants of the Jerusalem virus included additional marginal effects, such as cryptic slogans that would populate the command line interface. Some versions of the virus would apparently restrict the operation of programs during certain days of the week, such as Saturday and Sunday. This, and the general Friday the 13th effects, led some to speculate about whether the virus was designed by someone religious or superstitious. Eventually, the virus ceased to cause problems for newer operating systems, but not before contributing to some serious computer crashes worldwide. In the late 1980s, it was the leading virus attacking computers around the world.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…